Why does Gabriel Barbosa (Gabigol) never play?
Gabriel Barbosa, nicknamed Gabigol, who is supposed to be the new thrilling striker made in Brazil, gets bogged down on Inter Milan’s bench, where he has hardly played since the start of the season. Completely put on the side by Inter Milan’s former coach de Boer, he hopes for better days under the reign of Pioli.
Sixteen minutes of play and that’s it. It was September 29th, in a draw (1-1) between Inter Milan and Bologna, during the 6th day of Serie A. In the 74th minute, Frank de Boer s ‘Was finally determined to give his Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa a game. Other than that, nothing except unfortunate appearances in friendly matches against Lugano or Renate. Three months after being bought some thirty million euros by Inter Milan, Gabigol costs almost 2 million euros per minute of play. In his defense, the Brazilian arrived of Santos at the beginning of September, missed the Inter Milan preparation by participating in the Olympic Games, and mainly landed in a club in complete chaos.
At that time, Frank de Boer had just replaced Mancini on the bench, and before he had time to put his plans in place, the season was already starting. At the end of October, Serie A news, results and highlights showed that Inter Milan results were catastrophic, when Inter Milan had already solidly plunged into the filthy places of the ranking, the Dutch coach was ranting in the Italian media: “When you have several weeks to prepare the season, you can’t get to know your team. We had to do make tests at league games. We discover problems that should have been fixed in the pre-season, and many players are disappointed not to play. In pole position, Gabriel Barbosa. A situation at first sight aberrant for a guy who had been snatched by Inter Milan to big European clubs, and who had been presented as the rookie of the summer.
After a summer spent winning an Olympic title and agitating European football, Gabriel Barbosa had finally found his point of fall: Inter Milan. Other big teams like Juventus Turin, FC Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United wanted Gabigol. The deal was not easy, and it was only on August 26th that the news officially fell, after weeks of waiting for the Olympic tournament. “We will resolve this now. We did not have time, because I was at the Olympics and I was focused on that. Now we’re going to be able to talk” had promised the player once he got off the podium. The president of Santos, Modesto Roma, was finally able to answer the incalculable phone calls related to his attacker of 20 yo.
A few days and thirty million euros later, Gabriel Barbosa was part of the Inter Milan team. And no question of waiting for the winter to retrieve the player (as is often the case with South American players because of the schedule of their leagues). Inter had paid to enjoy his Gabriel Barbosa’s talent right away. But on September 3rd, Barça rebelled and threatened to blow everything up, and the Brazilian newspaper Globoesporte explained that the Catalans were planning to seize FIFA to cancel the deal. For the transfer of Neymar – also from Santos – a clause would have been signed giving Barcelona priority over the purchase of Santos players, including Gabriel Barbosa, something that would not have been respected. The struggle will not go any farther, and Barca must laugh today by observing the sad fate of Gabigol.
Saved by Pioli?
What should Inter do to him? The beginning of the rotten season does not lend itself to experiments, and not sure that the nervous public of San Siro is ready to leave Gabriel Barbosa some adaptation games to adapt to Italian football. Gabigol has never been a real forward attacker, and prefers to play as second striker, a position that did not exist in the tactical schemes of Frank de Boer where it would have been taped on a wing.
After the ejection of coach De Boer, fired eighty-four days after arriving, his twin Ronald spoke and said: “The team was not made to play with his style. There were seven or eight players he did not want, and among them was Gabriel Barbosa. Frank did not have a say on his transfer, he arrived without expecting it. The solution to Gabriel Barbosa’s misfortunes could therefore be called Stefano Pioli, but in a press conference the new Inter Milan preferred to say: “I count on all the players, And I have to make choices. I think Gabriel Barbosa is a high quality player who trains well. We will see after the training whether he will have the opportunity to play.
Will the next quarter of an hour of Gabriel Barbosa as an Inter Milan player arrive anytime soon?